Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! The Ginter Park Church family rejoices with you! Marriage is a holy covenant and we are glad to be part of this special time in your lives. You can request a booklet that is intended to give you all the guidelines and information necessary to make your wedding a meaningful one, and assure that the day and surrounding tasks run smoothly. You will need to meet in person with our pastor or staff for pre-marital counseling. This is important for several reasons. First, it will give us an opportunity to get to know one another. Second, it will enable us to discuss issues that will play a central role in your marriage –common values, hopes and dreams, children, religious background and spiritual convictions. Third, it will give us the opportunity to talk about marriage in general and your wedding service in particular. We look forward to meeting with both of you and assisting in making this a special and memorable time.
Through baptism, we are born anew by the free gift of God and placed within this family called church. As with most families, we inherit a narrative, in this case God’s mighty acts narrated in scripture. The narrative we inherit is not only one of the past, but one into which we are now invited and the Spirit empowers us to embody it in our own lives, here and now. Through baptism, we become part of that unfolding narrative of God’s grace. Please download the booklet THE MEANING OF BAPTISM IN THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH for further information. If you are interested in a baptism please contact the Church Office.
What does “confirmation” mean?
United Methodists use the term “confirmation” to mark the first time a baptized Christian publicly “confirms” their intention to live the vows of the baptismal and membership covenant and so becomes a professing member of the local congregation and The United Methodist Church.
Can I be confirmed more than once?
We expect that there may be several occasions during one’s Christian life when one may wish to re-affirm or re-profess their commitment to live the baptismal and membership covenant faithfully. Doing so more than once does not change or add to one’s status as a professing member in the Church. So while we encourage people to re-affirm as they find need, we do not call any subsequent reaffirmations or re-professions “confirmation.”
I thought “confirmation” referred to a series of classes over weeks or months. Was I wrong?
While the process of preparing to confirm or profess one’s commitment to live out the baptismal and membership covenant may take considerable preparation, which may include classes, retreats, service projects, and other spiritual exercises, the term confirmation properly belongs to what we do in the ritual when we publicly confirm our commitment.
Have questions? We have answers!
What is the minimum age for confirmation in The United Methodist Church?
Our Judicial Council has clarified for us that the determination of when someone is ready to say with integrity that they will live out the baptismal and membership vows is left solely to the appointed pastor. The appointed pastor has full discretion to decide whether someone is ready, regardless of their age. See Judicial Council Decision 1032.
That said, the nature of the questions we ask and the vows we take requires some degree of agency– ability to act on one’s own behalf– that is more compatible with at least early adulthood than late childhood. A number of our ecumenical partners, most notably bishops in The Episcopal Church, have set confirmation no sooner than age 16 (the average age when a child may first legally declare emancipation and enter into contracts across the US). Discipleship Ministries has noted that what became a common time for American Protestants of late middle school (7th or 8th grade) in the 19th and early 20th centuries, as it remains common today, corresponded roughly to early adulthood in those times, but no longer does today. We do well to consider all environmental and contextual factors that may surround a given child as we consider the “earliest” age at which we may decide to offer professing membership, and so confirmation.
I wasn’t confirmed when I was a teenager. Is it too late for me to be confirmed now that I am an adult?
No, it is not. Remember, confirmation as such is not a process, though preparing for it should involve some kind of process. Confirmation is simply the first time a baptized Christian makes their public commitment to live out the baptismal and membership covenant among us and so become a professing member with us. You may be confirmed at 16, 60, or 92!
I am coming to The United Methodist Church as a confirmed member of a church in another denomination. Do I need to be confirmed again?
No, you do not. While we do ask that all persons seeking to become professing members in The United Methodist Church publicly profess our baptismal and membership vows, we do not call that process “confirmation” for those who are coming to us as “confirmed” or “full” members of other Christian denominations. We, as do many of our ecumenical partners, call it “reception.” We will also offer you a process to orient you to life in our version of the baptismal covenant and in the wider life of the congregation, the district, the conference, and the denomination.
Confirmation classes will be held in the wintertime months every year as needed at Ginter Park United Methodist Church. Please contact our pastor if you are interested.
Please accept our deepest sympathy on the death of your loved one. We understand that this will be a difficult time for you and your family. Know that God understands even more, as Jesus Himself experienced sorrow and grief.
The death of someone you love ushers in a cascade of complex emotions, and planning a funeral or memorial service to honor, remember, and celebrate loved ones can feel overwhelming. We want to help.
Ginter Park United Methodist Church will be there for you. We offer:
- Guidance when working with local funeral homes and making final arrangements
- Hosting a funeral or memorial service at the church
- Help securing a pastor and worship team to lead the funeral or memorial service
- Grief aftercare through resources such as grief care groups, classes, books, and mentoring
To let us know about the death of your loved one, please contact the church at (804) 262-8651 to speak with our pastor who will listen, pray, and help guide you.